ICE CREAM DREAMER: Chris Leahy just opened '50s-style Mission City Creamery. Photograph by Liz Wassmann

An old-fashioned ice-cream parlor is hard to find these days—especially in California, otherwise known as the land of frozen yogurt. But an old-fashioned, ‘50s-style vibe is just what Chris Leahy has created in his new ice cream shop Mission City Creamery, located in Santa Clara.

Leahy grew up visiting Four Seas Ice Cream in Cape Cod, and has been experimenting with making homemade ice cream for almost 20 years. He hosts an ice cream social in his backyard every summer, with impressive turnouts–this year, he made 26 flavors to feed over 200 guests. So when the opportunity arose to open his own shop, he knew it was time to realize his dream. He’s worked in the construction industry his entire career, and felt it was time for a change.

Mission City Creamery opened in early January. The completely revamped store, located in the old Blondie’s building, features red plush stools at the counter and a banquette along one wall. All the ice cream is made on premises, and a viewing window in the back lets customers see the process.

“It’s been a learning process, to see what flavors to make and how much is needed,” admitted Leahy. Early bestselling flavors are salted caramel, caramelized banana and coffee with heath bar. The ice cream is thick and creamy and the portions are generous. Yogurt lovers will be disappointed that the creamery does not sell frozen yogurt, but they do have sorbet for the calorie-conscious. Business has been good, especially from neighbors, friends and students from nearby Santa Clara University, and should only improve as the temperature rises throughout the spring.

Most products at Mission City Creamery are under $5, and take-home pints are available. The creamery is open daily from 11am to 10pm, and is located at 2905 Park Avenue in Santa Clara.

Mission City Creamery
2905 Park Ave., Santa Clara; 408.615.1080